Islamic State “beyond anything we’ve ever seen”: Hagel

August 22, 2014 10:38 pm | Updated December 04, 2021 11:28 pm IST - Washington

U.S. Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel on Thursday warned that Islamic State, the militant group that beheaded American journalist James Foley and now controls vast swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq, has “an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision, which will eventually have to be defeated.”

Days after IS released a gruesome video of >Foley being murdered by a British-accented militant covered in black, Mr. Hagel along with General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that the group’s ability to “marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess,” combined with the fact that they are tremendously well funded, made it impossible that they could be contained in perpetuity.

The tenor of the top military leaders reflected a heightened concern about the need to tackle the IS crisis head-on, as did the words of U.S. Secretary John Kerry, who said after Foley’s death that IS “must be destroyed,” and U.S. President Barack Obama, who described the militants as a “cancer”.

In the aftermath of the video of Foley’s killing the U.S. has resumed bombing multiple IS targets such as those near Mosul dam, and has brought to at least 90 the total number of airstrikes launched since August 8.

In the video, the IS militant threatened to kill another U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, unless Mr. Obama reconsidered the decision to attack IS in Iraq.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.